Notable events this year included a walk held on Christmas Day for the first time, the ceremony to mark the installation of the Denis Holmes memorial gate in March and the three-day walking holiday in Dorset in May.
We gained 44 new members over the year but had a net loss of 14. Membership is currently 445.
There were 234 walks in our programme. Most of them were as usual on Wednesdays, Thursday mornings, Friday evenings and Sundays. Special ones included a breakfast walk, two lunch walks near Christmas and a supper walk. In June we held our annual walk with the London Blind Rambling Club. We had two walks in London, two on the Isle of Wight and a local one to see the Flying Scotsman pass.
We had a six mile walk in August in the Godalming Staycation and a ten mile walk in the Haslemere Walking Festival at the end of September.
Over the last three years the attendance on walks has increased almost 30%. This year the average attendance on walks was 20. Shorter walks (less than eight miles) were more popular than longer ones. There were ten new leaders.
The three one-day coach trips in August were to Eastbourne, the New Forest and the Isle of Wight. They were popular enough for us to hire a larger coach.
In June we hired a coach for an extra trip. This was to Oxfordshire for a short walk in the morning followed by a visit to Chenies Manor house and garden. Another such event has been planned for next year.
The week’s holiday in Bavaria in September was also popular and quickly became fully booked.
In May we held a stall at the Blackheath Fair and ran a croquet game for the village. In spite of the weather our team of six enjoyed themselves and raised money for the group from the sale of second-hand maps and walking gear.
Several items about our walks and events appeared in local newspapers and in South-East Walker thanks to our publicity officer. In January he set up a Facebook page for the group.
Members of the footpath working party were busy this year. Together they spent 101 hours on various projects. In September the leaders started a donate-a-gate scheme for the group. Since then they have installed and paid for three kissing-gates.
Jennifer Caddy, December 2017